Wet coal?

Wet coal?

PostBy: blackrock On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:19 pm

Yet again I can not get this thing to run above 350. It has in the past with the exact same settings so I know as is it will. I have tried all the methods that were mentioned. The only time it will consistently run above 350/400 is when I start a brand new ash free fire. I will say the coal I just bought seems to be damp. It was uncovered (Still bagged) in the snow. The guy said he bumped it around with the plow. I mean it's not soaking wet but damp. Stuff sticks to my shovel when I scoop that's how I noticed. Could that be why I'm struggling this time? I took a pic. of what the klinker door looks like. You guys are no doubt getting sick of my moody coal burning experience. One minute I'm lovin it the next I'm whining like a baby. I'm waiting for someone to say "Well no poop it won't burn if the coal is wet!!"

Vance
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blackrock
 

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: grumpy On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:31 pm

I don't know but it makes me wonder if coal can absorb water, I would think no, can someone answer that question..
grumpy
 

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: SuperBeetle On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:36 pm

Is this different coal from what you were using? I will say that I store my coal outside and never had a problem burning it when it's wet.
SuperBeetle
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark II
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Nut, & Stove Anthracite

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Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:37 pm

The only issue with wet coal I know of is the possability of cold water hitting a hot grate and causing a crack. That is what I have heard. Never seen it happen.

What we are burning is a substance that is almost as hard as a rock to coin a phrase. Any water that would or could be absorbed would be minimal and quickly evaporate once exposed to a hot fire. Of course I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first or the last time that has happend.
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford #2 Base Heater
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: dcrane On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:39 pm

what kind of stove is that? wetter coal should not prevent you from eventually obtaining the temp capabilities it has (it may initially lower temps on load up but that wont last long), did you change coal? (different coal can effect to some degree temps, burn time, ash, etc.), but more likely is your draft and/or ash build up (especially if you say you can obtain these temps on initial start fires when you have ZERO coal ash built up.... this tells me your first plan of attack should be to make sure your shaking it down well enough to visually see red hot coals and i nice red glow from the bottom door opening (evenly across the whole coal bed! not just one little area you happen to get a "redie" to drop down)! also remember... just because one day you have your draft control open 5/8ths of a turn and you get a 400 degree surface temp does NOT mean on the next day the same will occur if the temps outside change/chimney draft changes with temp, wind, etc... so it can be pulling more one day with the 5/8ths dial turn than the next day with the same 5/8ths dial turn. also... do you use an mpd? the stove will run hotter if the mpd is closed!

one last note with regards to shaking and ensuring you have nice bright even red glow coming from the bottom door opening... some people use a poker after a nice shake down and they jamb that poker up through the bottom of the grate to doubly make sure air flow is great (larry trainer has a great vid. showing this if @onedollar has a chance to post a link for you)... i always like to leave my bottom door open a couple minutes before & after a good load up!

ok... i guess thats enough food for thought ;) best wishes bro!
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:40 pm

My delivery's of bulk coal come washed and still wet. Plus, this year, it was raining the day it was delivered. Wasn't dripping wet, but small bits stuck to shovel as you mention.

It burned without trouble.

If it burns ok up until it starts to get ash, you may not be shaking and clearing the grates well enough. Are you getting some small burning embers dropping into the ash pan and seeing a glow of burning coal coming down through, when you shake the grates ?

Paul
Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:43 pm

Looks like we both hit the same idea Doug. Not clearing enough ash.

My guess is if it's burning up to then, the draft should be ok. If the change only happens when ash shows up, shake it to death and see if it helps ! :)

Paul
Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:46 pm

Here is the link to the Chubby video Doug mentioned. It is hard with my BB to poke up under the grates because of how the ash pan sits. The pan is very tall and so to poke one has to remove the ash pan. Not really practical. So the Clinker door is what I use.

I also have to shake the HECK out the Crawford sometime. The firepot is DEEP and there can be more ash than you think.

However the video might help as the basic premise is the same.

http://vimeo.com/8506320
Last edited by ONEDOLLAR on Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford #2 Base Heater
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: Lightning On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:47 pm

Wow, I look at that picture and I can't understand what I'm looking at. Could you take some more pictures of the whole stove? And some pictures of the ash pan area? I'd like to see the grates from underneath.

To me your symptoms imply one or more of these issues, ash isn't being cleared good enough, primary air is bypassing the coal bed or the draft is weak. Most likely ash isn't being cleared enough

The coal being wet has no bearing. Coal can't absorb hardly any water because it's too dense. Any water on the coal evaporates in a few minutes after being loaded.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: blackrock On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:08 pm

I tried snaping some pics of under the grates but they didncome out well. It was dark under there for sure. Maybe I have to shake this more than the bigger stoves due to it being such a small diameter? I didn't think the damp coal was the problem. Seems like I may have ash evacuation issues. On an unrelated note. Sometimes when I post or reply I hit the space bar to correct something and everything moves allowing me to fix it and sometime nothing moves and I wind up writing over what I want to keep with no way to stop it. How do I fix that problem? I'm just a mess... :(

Vance
blackrock
 

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:15 pm

blackrock wrote: Seems like I may have ash evacuation issues.


Yep.. I would bet your stove is CONSTIPATED.. With ASH that is....

Seriously though when I really shake down my Crawford I am blown away by the amount of ash that comes out its long/deep firepot. Much like your stove. Thankfully I only need to shake it down once every 24 hours. 30-36 hours when the temps aren't in the single digits. Clear that ash I bet she responds with some nice hot temps for you...
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford #2 Base Heater
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:32 pm

Vance,

My kitchen range as a long, narrow firebox that's also shallow. About 6 x 6 x 15 originally. And the firebrick liner is made narrower by a about a 1/2 thick layer of very rough, hard build up of burned in clinker.

I've watched vids of how others shake stoves with larger fireboxes and mine won't clear itself if I was that "gentle" with it. :roll:

Sometimes it will get "bridging" of not completely burned coal chunks that form in an arch like a church doorway when the softer bottom of the ash pile drops through the grates. I then need to just poke the top to collapse it down onto the grates before adding fresh coal.

Sometimes the ash chunks are too big and there's not enough weight of coal above them to push them down through the grates during shaking. Then I use a poker I made out of hardware store 1/4 rod epoxied into a wooden file handle. The tip is bent at a right angle long enough to reach up through the grates.

If you shake the grates and your not seeing some light coming down through the grates from burning coal, you need to shake harder and/or make a long right angle poker to reach up between the grates and loosen things a bit better.

Paul
Sunny Boy
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: grumpy On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:40 pm

Wow, I look at that picture and I can't understand what I'm looking at


Thats the basement furnace from the movie Home Alone... :lol:
grumpy
 

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: BlackBetty06 On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:41 pm

For what it's worth, I spray my coal with water before shoveling it into my stove to keep black dust down, and I've never had issues.
BlackBetty06
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Elite Coal insert
Coal Size/Type: Mammoth materials Nut Anthracite
Other Heating: Wood, oil, dual fuel heat pump/condensing propane furnace
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Magnafire coal insert

Re: Wet coal?

PostBy: Lightning On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:41 pm

blackrock wrote: It was dark under there for sure

Yes sir, tell tale signature of ash build up.. Shake the grates till hot embers are falling thru and an orange glow is radiating downward into the ash pan. Then you can use a poker tool to poke and slice up thru the grates from underneath to further create more passage ways for combustion air to get up thru the coal bed. I made a poker tool with some 3/8 inch steel rod with two inches bent at 90 degrees to push up thru the grates with. If you can achieve a glow down thru the grates, I think this will fix your problems :D
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

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